Skip to main content

Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

See other formats

246                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
of Christians under Maximian. The latter was a general in the army of Licinius5 and won the martyr's crown for refusing to sacrifice to false gods, and for breaking their images in pieces. He was the titular saint of the great church in Venice before that honour was bestowed upon S. Mark the Evangelist. His relics were carried to Venice from Constantinople in 1260^ and his figure still stands on one of the columns in the Piazzetta of S. Mark3 with the attribute of a dragon or a crocodile3 symbolic of the false gods he destroyed,1
Architectural Features
The church is a good example of the c four column' types with an outer and an inner narthex. The former is in five bays5 and extends to the north and south3 by one bay? beyond the inner narthex and the body of the church. The terminal bays} it would seems led to cloisters built against the exterior of the northern and southern sides of the building, Le Noir and Salzenberg2 show a cloister along the south side of the church, with four columns and an apse at its end. The central bay and the two terminal bays are covered with domes on high drums3 without, windows. The dome of the central bay has sixteen lobed baySj while its companions have each eight flat ribs. All traces of the mosaics which Salzenberg saw in the central dome have disappeared. On the exterior the three domes are octagonalj decorated with flat niches and angle shafts supporting an arched cornice. The exonarthex deserves special attention on account of its facade. It is a fine composition of two triple arcades, separated by a solid piece of masonry containing the door. On either side of the door3 and on the piers at each end of the fa5ade, are slender flat niches, similar to those which occur in S. Mark's, Venice. The finely carved capitals of the columns differ in type, the two northern being a variant of the c melon type/ the pair to the south being Corinthian, They are probably old
1 See The Monastery of St. Luke of Stiris, p. 61. 2 Altckristliche Baudenkm&ler von K.P. plates 34, 35,